MARSHALL SUSSMAN: Being a mineral collector for 50-some years myself, about 10 years ago I decided to break up my old world-wide collection and specialize, together with Charlotte, in only the best we could obtain of Tsumeb minerals. Charlotte and I then started to purchase collections directly from Namibia and South Africa, choose the specimens that would better our collection, and disposing of the balance as we went. After about 30 collections (!) and many trips to Africa to obtain them, as well as numerous individual purchases from good friends and dealers, we have put together this collection that Rob Lavinsky purchased from us. For those of you who purchase the specimens from Rob, well, we truly hope that you will enjoy them as much as we have. Also, much thanks to Rob for persuading us to keep what we felt was our "passion," much of the core suite of fine miniature specimens kept intact; these specimens will enable us to continue to collect and build up another Tsumeb collection.
ROB LAVINSKY: As I started my slow climb in mineral-dealing, before I could even admit to myself that I truly was a "fulltime mineral dealer," a funny guy who collected old African rocks took me under his wing and taught me some of the ropes of the business (in particular how to get myself into debt buying great rocks instead of staying safe with mediocre stuff, a very important and not entirely self-evident principle for me. um, thanks!). From the sidelines, I watched Marshall and Charlotte wheel and deal for years before myself playing an ever larger part buying and selling their acquisitions and culls, learning much about Tsumeb in the process. (I have even been converted to the belief Charlie Key espouses that it IS the greatest mineral locality there will ever be, bar none.) They didn't deal in rocks for its own sake, for business; but, rather, they dealt to support their own collection-building. Over the years, I admired the collection that Marshall and Charlotte were honing continually, watching it go through its successive iterations with something approaching awe for what they were able to build, piece by piece and collection by collection, despite wealthier and more aggressive mineral-hunters out there in the world (I soon realized that people LIKED to sell to them, and even sometimes went out of their way to do so. They are simply nice people!). I always thought they'd part with the collection someday to plan for retirement, perhaps; but I never thought in a million years that it could go to me (or that, if it did, the bank would be kind enough to trust me on the loan...). So, I am shocked as much as anybody, humbled, and truly honored to be able to present this fine collection for sale; as well as to post it as a permanent tribute to two dear friends who took gumption and guts and used it to assemble what is widely regarded as one of the top Tsumeb display collections in the United States, institutional or otherwise. This collection, notably, held its own when exhibited in its 2002 incarnation at the Tucson show, adjoining exhibits by the Houston Museum, Carnegie, and others. Each piece has survived a culling process of 10 years or more, as the collection was honed down again and again and lesser pieces moved out to make room for more important ones. I KNOW the result shows in person. I only hope that the online presentation can convey how good this material is, as a focused group of minerals representing this important locality (and the aesthetic taste of the collectors). As a final note, regarding the completeness of this offering, those who know the collection will notice that approximately 3 dozen miniatures are missing, having been "bought back" and kept by the Sussmans as the core of a second and hopefully growing collection. Otherwise, the display collection is all here....have at it!
PRICING: For items marked Price on Request (POR), please inquire. Obviously, there are a number of such items and I apologize for the necessary inconvenience.
PHOTOGRAPHY: I am indebted to John Schneider, who took many professional-quality photographs for the Sussmans over the years, and who has allowed them to provide me with so many his fine digital photographs for this website (all Schneider photos are so designated).